BT face competition as Three boss eyes EE or O2 takeover

On The Phone

The owner of Three is reportedly preparing to rival BT for ownership of O2 and EE.

Earlier this week we heard that British Telecom were in preliminary talks with both EE and O2 regarding a possible takeover.

Now today Reuters have revealed that Three boss, Hutchison Whampoa is also ready to make a move for one of the two UK network giants.

Their report claims that while no comment has been made by Three or their boss, the China-owned company could put in a bid for either company by the end of this year.

If Three is really ready to go toe-to-toe with BT for EE in particular then they could have a slight advantage over their rivals given the fact they are not as large.

Earlier this week we reported that EverythingEverywhere, owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom, were the second operator BT were in talks with.

We also said how a takeover between those two would not be easy, BT would become the instant market leader if they took hold of EE and such a position of dominance is unlikely to sit well with communications regulator Ofcom and the European Commission.

One of Reuters' sources said that despite Three's advantageous position, they are known as extremely tough negotiators, which could make a agreeing a deal with Orange and Deutsche Telekom a touch more difficult.

It's also fair to say that BT have a significant advantage should they opt to takeover O2 instead. Up until 10 years ago O2 was owned by BT before being bought by Telefonica for £18 billion; it is thought that buying back O2 would be a more straight forward process for British Telecom.

What is clear is that for both BT and Three is that O2 would be cheaper as they are only valued at £9.4 billion; EE on the other hand would cost a little more at around £11 billion.